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Alex Cejka played in his first U.S. Open in 1996, finishing T-50. He’s made just four appearances since, but will get a sixth after taking medalist honors Monday at the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Daly City, Calif.
Cejka, a four-time winner on the European Tour, didn’t make a bogey in two rounds, carding a first-round 5-under 67 at Lake Merced Golf Club before turning in a closing 6-under 65 at the Olympic Club’s Ocean Course. Cejka, whose best Open finish came in 2010 when he tied for eighth, finished at 11 under, three shots ahead of second-place Steven Alker of New Zealand, who used a second-round 65 at Lake Merced to earn one of the five Open berths.
Also advancing is Stanford rising sophomore Maverick McNealy, who finished third at 7 under. Kevin Sutherland of Sacramento, Calif., and Illinois rising senior Brian Campbell, the Big Ten player of the year, tied for fourth at 6 under.
Among the notables failing to qualify are amateur Marty Dou of China, a quarterfinalist last summer at the U.S. Junior Amateur; recent Cal grads Joel Stalter and Brandon Hagy; and Arizona State rising senior Sam Saunders, who at one point held the lead in the first round only to finish at 2 over and in a tie for 47th.